Placement FAQs for COVID-19

PLACEMENTS - HEALTH

The University is working closely with the relevant government department’s on health student placements.

On-site placements will be subject to additional COVID safety measures, as host organisations need to confirm for La Trobe that they are complying with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice. The Placement Operations Team will be in regular contact with general updates and will contact you if your placement is affected as a result of COVID-19.

Please contact the placements team or your subject coordinator if you have any specific questions.

What is the vaccination requirement for health placement?

A number of industries are subject to the third dose (booster) vaccination requirements. This requirement will impact students doing placement in all health settings. The University must verify your vaccination status before you are permitted to attend your placement. Please provide the University with your updated COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate as soon as possible so we can confirm your placement.

Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements and deadline

Following the recent partnership between the private and public health sectors; Will international students continue to be covered under their private health insurance?

In general, international students with private insurance will continue to receive medical treatment under their private health insurance (subject to T&Cs of their individual policies).

I am a volunteer in the medical industry – will LTU’s insurance cover me if I contract COVID-19?

No, volunteers must be insured under the insurance of the organisation they are volunteering for.

I cannot get my booster by the deadline; how will that impact my upcoming placement?

You will not be able to undertake your placement if you cannot demonstrate that you have received your booster. Pleased make an appointment with your course/year co-ordinator to discuss your options.

Teaching and other non-clinical placements

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Placements

Students will be contacted directly with advice. Commencement and continuation of placement will depend on the particular circumstances of the placement and placement provider.

Education (all year levels) workers are subject to the third dose (booster) vaccination requirements. This requirement will impact students doing their ITE placement. The University must verify your vaccination status before you are permitted to attend your placement. Please provide the University with your updated COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate as soon as possible so we can confirm your placement.

Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements and deadline.

Non-clinical/Non-Initial Teacher Education Work Based Learning (WBL) placements

Student undertaken WBL Placements outside of clinical health or initial teacher education settings (e.g. in IT, Engineering, Science, non-clinical Health, Agriculture, Law, Business and Humanities) will be contacted directly with advice. Commencement and continuation of placement will depend on the particular circumstances of the placement and placement provider. Students are required to be fully vaccinated to attend WBL placement outside of clinical and initial teacher education settings. This learning activity is considered a “Designated Event” under the University’s Health and Safety Procedure – COVID 19 Vaccination and Other Measures.

WBL guidelines and requirements are being regularly reviewed and updated in response to government advice on COVID-19. Weekly emails are being sent to all placement students to provide information on placement restrictions. As a placement student, you must read these weekly emails carefully and act in accordance with La Trobe and government requirements for placement at all times.

If you have queries related to your WBL placement, please contact:

SHE: SHEWorkIntegratedLearning@latrobe.edu.au

ASSC: assc.internships@latrobe.edu.au

What is the vaccination requirement for ITE placement?

A number of industries are subject to the third dose (booster) vaccination requirements. This requirement will impact students doing ITE placement. The University must verify your vaccination status before you are permitted to attend your placement. Please provide the University with your updated COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate as soon as possible so we can confirm your placement (Pleased upload your most up to date vaccination certificate to SIS – instruction).

Students are encouraged to monitor the government website to keep up to date with the vaccination requirements and deadline.

How do I stay safe on my placement?

The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, including those completing approved course-related placements, is our highest priority. To stay safe on your placement, you must follow the protocols put in place by your placement organisation, which should be in line with the government’s COVID-19 WorkSafe advice as explained here. You should maintain a safe social distance (1.5 metres), sanitise your hands regularly, wear face mask as required, clean your work surfaces and monitor yourself for any symptoms. Do not attend placement if unwell. The University will assist you to replan a placement if it cannot be completed.

Do I need to undergo PCR testing for my ITE placement?

Surveillance testing is in place for School settings, ITE placement students are required to undergo twice weekly Rapid Antigen testing. Please contact the ASSC placement team if you have any queries.

PLACEMENTS - GENERAL

What happens if my placement is postponed or cancelled?

If your placement facility/educational setting/host organisation postpones or cancels your placement as a result of COVID-19 you will receive an email from the Placement Operations team notifying you of this. Academic staff and the Placement Operations team are working collaboratively on alternative placement options. Individual plans will be communicated to any affected students by your Placement Officer.

For health placements, it is likely that there will be significantly delay in finding alternative option due to the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare facilities.

For non-clinical placements, cancellations will be handled on a case-by-case or subject-by-subject basis, and the options available to you should be discussed with your subject coordinator, WIL team or Placement Operations team.

For Teacher Education placements, you are able to continue with your subject and your result may be entered as SAHA (Supplementary Additional Hurdle Assessment) on your transcript until the placement hurdle has been successfully completed.

If I am required to complete my placement from home, are there any steps I need to follow?

Yes. You will be sent an OH&S guide/self-assessment and some tips for safely and successfully completing a placement off-site. You should review the checklist and use it to ensure you have a safe and productive home workspace. You should also ensure that you have regular contact with both your subject coordinator and your host supervisor.

Will professional accreditation be impacted?

The University is working closely with professional accrediting bodies to ensure that any changes to your subjects or placements do not negatively affect accreditation.

If I am feeling even slightly unwell, or have COVID-19 symptoms, have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting results, or are positive for COIVD-19, should I attend placement?

If you are feeling unwell, do not attend placement. No matter how mild the symptoms, you should stay at home.

If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (including fever, cough, sore throat, chills, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell), however mild, you should:

  • self-isolate immediately
  • get tested – PCR or RAT
  • tell your placement organisation, your La Trobe Placement Operations Team
  • do not attend until you have received a negative result
  • if you test positive for COVID-19, you are required notify the Department of Health, your placement organisation, your Operations Team, and the University.

It is crucial that you do not attend University campus or your placement, or anywhere else, until you are advised it is safe for you to do so.

If you are unable to attend your placement because you are unwell, regardless of the cause, you must contact your course coordinator and La Trobe University placement coordinator to advise them. We will work with the placement provider to assist you to complete the required hours/assessments at a later date.

What if I am in a high-risk category of contracting COVID-19 or I have carer responsibilities for others who are in a high-risk category and can’t attend placement?

Please provide medical documentation to the Placement Operations team and they will discuss the most appropriate arrangements.

Can I opt out of placement?

Where you have significant concerns for your health and wellbeing, or the health and wellbeing of others living in your home, you can choose to opt-out of placement.

However, it’s important to note that completing your accredited program of study requires completion of all approved activities (including professional placement). Your course progression and completion date may be affected by your choice to opt-out at this time, so it is important to seek guidance from your year or course coordinator. We cannot guarantee when an alternative placement will be available, so if you are currently in your final year of study, opting out may delay your course completion so that you graduate and/or become registered for your profession later than you expected.

Opting out of placement will not result in a fail for the placement subject. The exact arrangements will depend on your specific course and registration requirements. Your subject and course coordinators are working through these issues and will communicate with you via the LMS and individually as required. The most likely scenario is that we will organise for you to receive a 'Grade Withheld' (W) result for the subject associated with your placement until the placement requirements have been completed. We will work with the placement provider to assist you to complete the required hours/assessments at a later date.

If you are considering opting out, you will need to:

  • Discuss this with your placement supervisor and La Trobe subject coordinator, and also contact the Placement Operations team, if you are already on placement.
  • Contact your La Trobe subject coordinator or year coordinator by email, if you are not yet on placement.
  • Complete the online form and upload a copy of the email correspondence with your subject or year level coordinator as a supporting document.
  • Where possible, please notify us of your decision to opt-out at least one week before a placement is due to commence.